Humanity (nothing or something?)


Given the current unfolding of the Climate Emergency, the mesh of nation states making up the political fabric of the world is proving at the best to be an ineffectual apparatus for tackling the problems and, in the most part, states are impediments to any real solutions to our global predicament. To tackle this crisis, the idea of the State has to be transcended in favour of a unifying, universal concept like Humanity.

Nevertheless, in the present, humanity is nothing. There is no human culture; there are no human rights; there is no human history. For these things to exist, their defining element, humanity itself, has to become something. While humanity remains nothing, we are nothing. Instead of being something we are all sorts of things and we will only ever be something when we stop being all sorts of things. At the moment, humanity is merely a very meagre will, scarcely a hope, and definitely not a tangible desire. In short, it is nothing at all what it should be.

It should be a final cause, something to will for: something that will motivate us. It should be a matter of will, of work, of discipline as will-as-a-matter-of-un-will. It should be a fundamental desire, of being the essential something we desperately lack because we missed it.

Because of its absence it causes discomfort and bitterness. Humanity desires something for ourselves that has not yet been desired from us, ignoring the fact that what we desire for ourselves must come from us. We desire to be something more: something tangible and real rather than a merely abstract generalisation.

As for final causes: the real final cause will only be apparent when humanity has become something. For humanity to begin to fulfil itself and find purposiveness, it must first be something – be the thing that should be humanity.

3 thoughts on “Humanity (nothing or something?)

  1. Thank you for your comments R.J..
    Yes, as you say, at the moment “humanity is defined by the composite action of all humans”. Yes, that is the status quo, but it is also the problem. That “everything”, which is the composite, amounts to “nothing”, and the end-result of that existential absurdity is the world-endangering horror that we as an anti-nature part of nature are causing. The everything-is-nothing-humanity is part of nature, but the anti-nature part, threatening existence with our own existential irrationality. Like Ivan Karamzov’s “Everything is permitted” the idea that humanity is the composite of all its parts liberates us from all morality and judgement, and that, as we can now see, is not just dangerous, it is potentially suicidal. The question is the same that was put by Hamlet: “To be or not to be?” because without the judgement that “being-something” empowers humanity with, we are destined to disappear, and take a large part of life on Earth with us when we do.
    Keep wandering and be compassionate for the world you wander through, open your eyes to its suffering … and keep writing.

    • .

      absolutly right paul !
      any humanity without value … is no humanity
      becuase being worthless … eg nothing !


  2. Humanity is already defined by the composite action of all humans. Humanity includes war and charity, love and loathing, segregation and equality. We are just another part of nature, not separate. Enjoy your own humanity, your own contradictions. Be compassionate for yourself, and keep writing.

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